Monday, December 6, 2010

21 Day Blogoversary & Birthday Bash:
Day 6
Review and Giveaway of
Keeper by Kathi Appelt

Monday, December 6, 2010
 Welcome to Day 6 of my 21 Day Blogoversary and Birthday Bash

Today I have a review and giveaway of Keeper by Kathi Appelt.


Keeper is a breathtaking, magical novel from National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honoree Kathi Appelt.

To ten-year-old Keeper the moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong ... and so much has gone wrong.


But she knows who can make things right again: Maggie Marie, her mermaid mother, who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gather at the sandbar, and that's exactly where Keeper is headed - in a small boat. In the middle of the night, with only her dog, BD (Best Dog), and seagull named Captain. When the riptide pulls at the boat, tugging her away from the shore and deep into the rough waters of the Gulf of Mexico, panic sets in and the fairy tales that lured her out there go tumbling into the waves. Maybe the blue moon won't sparkle with mermaids and maybe - Oh, no ... "Maybe" is just to difficult to bear.
(Publisher's summary from Powell's Books)

Keeper is one of those books that wraps around your heart, pulls you close and keeps a strong hold on you even after you’ve read the very last page. As the publisher’s summary clearly states this book is a “breathtaking, magical novel."

It has been a while since I read a book that uses third person omniscient, and Appelt’s use of this POV is one of the main reasons that the story holds such a magical feel to it. With such a small and varied cast of characters, Appelt gives the reader a chance to be inside each of their heads, and what really appealed to me was the fact various aspects of the story were unfolded through the thoughts of a dog, a cat, and a seagull.

Another unforgettable element of this book is the setting. It was a little world unto its own. Keeper, lives with Signe on a small beach. Her neighbors consist of Dogie, who runs a surf board rental, where Keeper earns money sanding and waxing the boards, and Mr. Beauchamp, and elderly gent, who craves mermaids about of driftwood Keeper finds on the beach. This close community has kept tabs on Keeper ever since her mother disappeared into the water one night, which is why Keeper, who believes her mother is a mermaid.

The conflict is also greatly influenced by the setting. The story opens with Signe preparing her famous gumbo, which can only be made during a Blue Moon. However, when the crabs destined to become the main ingredient for the gumbo, begin talking to Keeper and she frees them, she inadvertently sets off a chain of events. In her quest to make things right, Keeper goes in search for Yemaya, queen of the merfolk, hoping that she will grant her a wish: to make everything that went wrong right again.

Keeper is such a wonderfully drawn character. She is the epitome of innocence and that childhood essences that all of us once had. Her belief in the magic of the sea is as strong as my childhood belief in Santa Clause, and while as I reader, I cringed at Keeper’s plan to sail out into the ocean, knowing all too well how dangerous it was, I also applauded Keeper’s motivations and conviction.

Appelt’s beautiful prose brings this whimsical story to life. It is a grand mix of mythology and fantasy reminiscent of a fairy tale, but with depth of character that neither a myth or a fairy tale usually produces. This is definitely a book I will be recommending for my middle school students, and to any audience who enjoy revisiting those childhood dreams about making impossible things possible.
Source: Received book from publisher for review

For a chance to win Keeper leave a comment and tell me a childhood fantasy you had and fill out this form.

Don't forget to check out day 1-5 here for a chance to win other great books.



47 comments:

confessionofareadingmind said...

I guess one of my recurrent childhood fantasy was a pretty common one and kind of fit with the book. I had a big garden and I pictured myself as a fairy. I always wanted to have magic powers like fire or water, to be able to call the elements of the nature to help me cleaning up my room. I wanted to have lots of fairy friends to play with me (I was alone all day, so guess it was invisible friend issues).

Aleetha said...

When I was child I watched a lot of cartoon, anime and read books and manga about hero and heroin who are powerful. No need to wonder if I used to wish that I have such power. Mind reader, could fly anywhere, did telepathy to some people.

But Doraemon, a cat from future, who got everything in his magic pocket influenced me the most. I really wanted to have it. So everytime I faced one problem, that magic pocket will help me out. If I could not have it, at least I could be his friend. That was one of my wish when I was elementary school.
:D

Miss Page-Turner said...

Just a standard fantasy, but I can't think of another right now... I always dreamed about becoming a princess in a secret country only I knew of:)

Bookwoman said...

I had two recurring fantasies when I was growing up. I often dreamed of being a famous writer. (Still fantasize about that one). And I often dreamed that I was a beautiful and kind magician. (My oldest son would say I got the witch part down pat, but I don't think he'd agree with the kind. :)

Beverly aka Bookwoman

Melissa said...

I had odd childhood fantasies haha when I was ten I decided I absolutely had to be a forensic scientist...creepy, eh? That was my dream and fantasy until the reality of 2139489324893 years of medical school crushed it ;)

Loved your review, Jan!

S said...

Definitely wanted to be able to fly when I was younger... and still do for that matter :)

Precious said...

Great review! This seems like a wonderful read!

A childhood fantasy? I was fond of anime. I wished I could have powers like fire from my hands or perhaps ice. I wanted to be some sort of girl warrior!

I Read Banned Books said...

Oh gosh....I definitely wanted to be called up on stage at a concert by the lead singer of a band. Didn't matter who, I just wanted to be up there with the crowd screaming! Like...really bad.

Jen @ I Read Banned Books

debbie said...

I was always obsessed with horses. My father knew a man that owned a horse that ran in the kentucky derby. He arranged it so I got to ride him. That was a fantasy that came true for me.

.Ambur. said...

One of my childhood fantasies was to be the Pink Power Ranger :) haha I also wanted to be a teacher, an artist, a dancer and a vet throughout my childhood. I probably wanted to be a firetruck too :P lol

Pisinat said...

Really great review :)
My fantasy as a child ? ... Oh my... I had so much fantasies...
The most original I guess, is that I wanted to swim so well that I would have been able to swim under water with dolphins for a very long time (I had seen a man doing it in a movie (the Big Blue (Le Grand bleu in French)) lol).

Ana Lucia said...

one of my childhood fantasies was become a wizard or be able to do any kind of magic...real magic like Harry Potter lol...Or a warrior someone with power!

samantha35 said...

Sounds like a great book!

Tiffany Harkleroad said...

I wanted to sing on Broadway, that was my fantasy as a kid.

Tiffany
tiffanyniekro@gmail.com

Vivien said...

I wanted to be a character on Dexter's laboratory on cartoon network. lol

Vivien

Staci said...

This is one that I truly want to read..every time I put it back on the library shelves I keep telling myself to check it out!! I will for sure now!

Kulsuma said...

Hmm, childhood fantasies...

I wanted to be a writer/author. Well, I still do...

I, too, was waiting for my acceptance letter from Hogwarts. Alas, it never arrived:(

Sue Jackson said...

I;m glad to hear you enjoyed Keeper so much. I listened to it on audio last year, and I have to admit that, although I enjoyed it OK, I didn't love it. I agree about the setting and the character of Keeper (I did listen to the whole thing, so it kept my interest), but I didn't really like the mystical/magical elements. I know that's my own weird quirk - I can enjoy magic when the whole book is obviously fantasy, but I'm not a big fan of the "magical realism" genre. Anyway, your review was very well-written and you hit on a lot of the high points of the novel. Glad you enjoyed it.

Sue

mariska said...

My childhood Fantasies,
i wanted to find a treasure chest with so many treasures and gold in it :)

Linda Henderson said...

My childhood fantasy was to be able to ride a horse and fly like the wind across the fields. Never did learn how to ride that well.

GABY said...

I don't remember much my childhood fantasies. But I know that I wanted to be a vet and have a show on Animal Planet hehe.

Even when this book is for middle grade, I think I'd enjoy it.

Em said...

One of my favorite childhood fantasies was my sister, friends and I pretending that our backyard would be an amusement park. There would be a happy side and a scary side. The happy side was basically a homemade seesaw - board on a rock - and tree climbing. The scary side was much more fun. We dug mud pit booby traps frequently (because they would always dry up) and there was a spot where you could hop through a swamp on tufts of grass.

Moonlight Gleam said...

My childhood fantasy involved me being Tinkerbell.. I used to jump of my bed wishing that somehow I could fly! I'd sprinkle glitter everywhere and have fake wings on haha

moonlightgleam(at)gmail(dot)com

StefanieEmmy said...

Great review! You really made me want to read this book :D

So, a childhood-fantasy. That one's easy, I had (and still have) a lot of them.
My number one childhood-fantasy is to be an author, writing stories that really get to the readers mind, make them think. AND, at the same time I'd like to be an forensic scientist, solving cold cases or doing DNA-analysis on historically important human remains as it was done for example in the case of the Romanov family. Actually I'm already on my way to fulfilling this fantasy which is so great :D

Greetings from Austria (which explains all the mistakes in this comment xD)
Stefanie

Llehn said...

I think like all little girls I wanted to marry a Prince :D

Belle Découverte said...

I wanted to be a Disney princess when I was a child. The whole having magical talking animal friends and meeting my prince with a happily ever after was my childhood fantasy. I was so addicted to the Disney princess movies.

Byrn's books said...

Hey, I loved your review. This looks like a pretty good book, I can't wait till it comes out :))

The Happy Booker said...

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a witch, a good one (most days) I even wrote a story about myself as a witch with a cauldron and a magic ladle. lol I think I was about 8 at the time.

EVA SB said...

I've always wanted to be an astronaut since before I can remember. Too much Star Trek, maybe?

Ashley said...

I used to pretend I could control the weather. I so wanted to conjure up crazy thunderstorms when I was angry!!

-ROCKprincess- said...

my childhood fantasy...
I always wanted to go inside the cyber world so that I can be anything I want to be...
like a story I read when I was ten..
this guy can go inside the computer and into any world he wants...
he can be power rangers or ken in street fighter...
huhu...

I'm looking for fantasies like this one...
thanks for sharing...
and thanks for the giveaway...
huhu...

Jasmine1485 said...

I always wanted to have a room entirely filled with cushions, I'm not exactly sure why now... :S

Kate1485 at hotmail.com

Mithee (The Deranged Book Lovers) said...

Breathtaking magical novel? I want that! The cover is very cute. I don't read a lot of Middle Grade but I could make this an exception. ;P

xlacrimax said...

My childhood fantasy.. I always thought that people who die become stars in the sky. And I used to gaze at the sky wondering how they are doing out there.

Lisa R/alterlisa said...

I had just discovered Nancy Drew and decided I wanted to write mystery books when I grew up. We had to write sentences or a story using our spelling words each week at school. My heroine was Annette Young and she starred in my weekly mystery. And believe me she would have run circles around ND.

nfmgirl said...

I used to fantasize that I was a "cowgirl" who fell off her horse and broke her leg while riding out "on the plains", and was taken in by Native Americans and raised as one of their own. That was a favorite fantasy when I was a little girl.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Jenn said...

I used to dream that the woodsy area behind our house was a magical place where butterflies talked to me.

Lily Child said...

Beautiful review! This is definitely going on the tbr list! :)

Aleksandra said...

Great review! I'm adding this one on my wishlist :)

Eli Squared said...

I use to dream I was a baby angel sent to Earth to grow up until I get my wings.

I use to believe this because I have a birthmark on my hand in the shape of tiny lips, and my dad told me its where the angels kissed me to keep me safe until I came back to them.

Stephanie said...

I wanted to go to Hogwarts so badly, I wrote a letter and set it by my window explaining the many reasons I would make a great witch, hoping an owl would pick it up in the night. I really, really wanted Hogwarts to be real (well, I still do).

Aik said...

I used to wish I could fly. I even dreamed about flying in my grandmother's house with a cape tied to my neck.

Dwayne said...

Sounds superb - though to be frank, I'm not much of a dreamer :/

PinkStuff28 said...

Well, i always wanted to have super-powers

Jen said...

My childhood fantasy was simple, I wanted to be able to fly. Now as an adult, I love being in airplanes and anything to do with heights. It's not the same, but still very awesome!

Spav said...

I wanted to swim with the mermaids and talk to the fishes. (The little mermaid was one of my favourite movies back then).

Celeste said...

My childhood fantasy was to go into another world like the kids in Narnia.

 
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